Employee Potential Is Limited When Managers Neglect This
Instill pride, elevate performance, and secure loyalty by extending this to your Generation Z employees.
“When in my past was I recognized for a skill or talent?”
Over ten years ago, I asked myself that simple question in an attempt to discover my calling in life.
Upon reflecting on that question, two different moments came to mind where I was recognized for my public speaking ability. That marked the start of my journey to become a professional speaker. Today I’m an internationally recognized keynote speaker on the topic of generations and the future of work and speak to thousands of people every year.
This transformational moment in my life would not have been possible without recognition from others.
Recognition can become a defining moment. It was for me.
Recognition can shine light on irrefutable and one-of-a-kind strengths. It did for me.
However, recognition is an afterthought in most organizations. It’s robotic, impersonal, and ultimately falls flat among employees which completely defeats the purpose of providing recognition in the first place.
ow many defining moments didn’t happen because managers were too busy, distracted, or didn’t think the result or individual was worthy of recognition?
How much employee potential is being capped by managers unwilling to take the time to deliver recognition?
In my recent article, This Has Been a Top Employee Motivator for over 46 Years, I highlighted the magnitude that recognition holds in the eyes of all employees, but particularly for Generation Z. Here are a few ideas on how managers can improve their employee recognition.
8 Ways to Improve Employee Recognition for Generation Z
1. Recognize in Real-Time
2. Recognize Company Values
3. Recognize with Creativity
4. Recognize Visibly and Widely
Use the company blog, vlog, newsletter, podcast, or team meeting to recognize Gen Z. Make the people doing great things visible for everyone else to see and emulate.
5. Recognize Specifically
Be specific about what the Gen Z employee did to receive the recognition and why that behavior or result is important. For example, “Ella, you continually make your colleagues and clients feel valued with your positivity, friendliness, and enthusiasm, so we would like to [insert reward] because that type of positivity is what clients appreciate.”
6. Recognize in Every Direction
Recognition received from peers can be more meaningful for Gen Z because it’s often their peers who have a better understanding of the work that they are doing. Create environments where peer recognition can occur.
7. Recognize What’s Ignored
Many skills and milestones go unnoticed by managers leaving employees wanting more and teams feeling hollow. Recognition—done right—is one of the simplest ways to instill pride in others.
Identify new milestones worthy of recognition such as:
- First direct report promoted
- Tenth team presentation delivered
- Fifth employee mentored
- Third job candidate referred
- One million dollars of revenue earned
- Fifth volunteer event completed
- Second emerging leadership conference attended
- First course completed as an instructor
8. Recognize Using Better Rewards
Here are a few uncommon ideas of how to better recognize Generation Z…
- Grant special access to a leader inside the organization
- Sponsor their ticket to a conference of their choice
- Write them (or their parents) a handwritten note
- Grant the chance to appear on the company blog, podcast, YouTube channel, etc.
- Offer tickets to an exclusive event
- Make a donation to a charity of their choice
- Grant flexibility in how, when, or where they work